The Danish authorities has formally proposed banning full-face veils in public areas, saying that such clothes is “incompatible” with the nation’s values.
Denmark’s justice minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, defended the proposed ban on clothes just like the Islamic niqab or burqa in an announcement on Tuesday, arguing that it was “disrespectful to the group” to maintain one’s face hidden when assembly others in public areas.
“With a ban on overlaying the face, we’re drawing a line within the sand and underlining that in Denmark we present one another belief and respect by assembly head to head,” Poulsen mentioned, in line with a translation supplied by Agence France Presse.
Those that violate the ban may very well be fined as much as 1,000 kroner ($164). Repeat offenders may very well be fined as much as 10,000 kroner ($1,644).
The proposal particularly mentions burqas, niqabs and balaclavas as examples of potential violations. The niqab and burqa are simply two of the numerous kinds of overlaying that Muslim ladies might put on as a part of their religious apply. The niqab is a face veil that leaves the realm across the eyes clear. The burqa covers the face fully, leaving a mesh or web display for ladies to see by means of.
The Danish authorities’s proposal identified that face coverings which have a “recognizable” function, corresponding to winter clothes, sports activities gear or masks for festivities, are excluded from the ban.
The brand new proposal will likely be assessed by nongovernmental human rights organizations, then introduced to Parliament this spring. Because the ban has the assist of the right-wing, nationalist Danish Folks’s Social gathering, the nation’s second-largest get together, it’s more likely to go, AFP stories.
Regardless of the precautions the federal government is making an attempt to take in opposition to full-face veils, it’s unclear what number of ladies really put on these non secular clothes in Denmark as we speak. A 2009 examine from the College of Copenhagen discovered that between 100 and 200 ladies put on niqabs in Denmark.
“I don’t suppose there are various who put on the burqa right here in Denmark. However in case you do, you need to be punished with a advantageous,” Poulsen advised an area information company, in line with AFP.
Özlem Cekic, considered one of Denmark’s first feminine Muslim politicians, advised HuffPost that she believes the vast majority of Muslims in Denmark don’t put on the niqab or burqa. She thinks the federal government’s proposal is extra of a “symbolic stance.”
“I’ll by no means be capable of perceive why some ladies select to put on a niqab or burqa, however I don’t consider in criminalizing opinions,” Cekic advised HuffPost. “Ladies sporting a niqab or burqa won’t ever lower the liberty of Danes or be a menace to the nationwide safety.”
Lamia El Amri, chair of the worldwide advocacy group European Discussion board of Muslim Ladies, advised HuffPost that she’s seen a “harmful rise” in Islamophobic political rhetoric throughout Europe. Politicians and events have been framing Muslim ladies and their non secular beliefs as antagonistic to European societies, Amri mentioned, which causes these ladies to be additional marginalized.
Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment has been rising in Denmark and different European international locations in recent times. Specifically, Muslim ladies’s proper to put on veils in public has grow to be a contentious problem. France banned individuals from sporting the niqab in public locations in 2011 ― the primary European nation to take that step. Final yr, the European Courtroom of Human Rights upheld an analogous ban in Belgium, saying that the ban was “vital in a democratic society.”
Amri doesn’t suppose a usually relevant ban on full-face veils in public is required to guard public security or public order. In apply, she mentioned these legal guidelines are inclined to result in elevated discrimination and bodily violence in opposition to ladies sporting veils in public areas.
“On the identical time, we are able to see that nothing or little or no has been accomplished by these governments in … defending ladies in opposition to Islamophobic hate crimes,” Amri, a resident of Sweden, advised HuffPost. “We’d be glad to see governments addressing actual issues and safety points that Muslim ladies face of their on a regular basis life.”
Georgina Siklossy, a press officer for the European Community Towards Racism who lives in Belgium, had an analogous response to bans in opposition to full-face veils throughout Europe.
“It’s counter-productive so as to add an impediment to ladies who already undergo many inequalities as a result of they’re ladies, Muslim, from an ethnic minority background, and typically dwelling in poor socio-economic circumstances,” Siklossy advised HuffPost.
This text has been up to date with quotes from Özlem Cekic, Lamia El Amri and Georgina Siklossy.